Read 3044 times

  • kicker_qb01
  • Adventurer

    • 71

    • May 09, 2014, 12:39:11 pm
    • Daegu, South Korea
Rent Question
« on: February 18, 2016, 06:46:07 pm »
Hello, I was hoping I could have some people viewpoint on rent payments for both public schools and hagwons.

In our contracts we have an option for housing to be either provided for us, or not.  If we do not have housing provided for us we are given an additional 300-400,000 won for rent/living expenses on top of our base pay.  How I look at this is if we ask for housing to be provided for us, the 300-400,000 that would otherwise go into our paycheques goes towards rent.  Even though we don't pay rent directly, we are still out that extra cash. 
In summary I think we indirectly pay rent.

Or,

We truly are provided an apt. for free?  We don't pay key money, the rent fee (however much it is) doesn't affect our pay unless we have our own apt., and it's more than the stipend given.  Whether we are given a stipend for housing does not affect our base pay.  Sure, somebody might keep the stipend and get a really cheap apt., and pocket the leftover stipend, but we are still provided an apt. for free.


Re: Rent Question
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2016, 09:26:55 pm »
Do you have a point?


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5336

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Rent Question
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2016, 08:05:22 am »
Like JunkfoodConstellation, I'm not 100% sure where you're going with this, but I'll add some of my own thoughts regarding housing:

Arranged housing: This is probably best for new arrivals to Korea, or people who don't want the hassle of having to interact with Korean landlords.
Pros: The school arranges and is responsible for everything. You pay no Key money, and your school will furnish the place.
Cons: The apartment will likely be small, and cheap (schools always look to save a buck). You have no control over where it is, and that can potentially mean some hefty commutes.

Receive Stipend: This is usually better for those teachers who have already spent some time in Korea.
Pros: Less interaction between landlord and school (ie: your school wont hear about how the elderly landlady came to "check up" on the apartment and found that you apparently haven't done a load of laundry since you moved in four months ago...)
You have complete control over location, cost, apartment style etc. This can potentially mean saving a fair amount of rent each month
You can arrange much lower rents by providing a lumpsum deposit (usually between 10 million - 40 million won) which will (hopefully) be returned to you at the end of your rental contract.
Cons: Your school is not responsible for furnishing an apartment that you yourself are renting.
May be more difficult to get your school to mediate problems you have with your landlord / apartment.
Schools often have long term leases with a landlord and may be reluctant to let you leave the school provided apartment.
Also, if you get your housing allowance paid to you, it will be taxed. :(



Re: Rent Question
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2016, 09:59:40 am »
I came upon this issue not long ago.
I moved in with someone last year, and she wanted me to pay rent.
My argument was that she herself doesn't pay rent, so I didn't want to give her money for something she was getting for free.  I gladly paid for more than my share of expenses, but I didn't feel right paying for 'rent'.
She taught public school and had her housing provided.

On the other hand, she argued that she did pay rent, just not directly.  It doesn't come out of her paycheck, but it's unsaid.  For example, if she had chosen the stipend, then it was still money to her to pay for her rent.  So just because her pay stub didn't have rent on it, it didn't mean that she was living there for free.
I don't view an allowance or stipend as one paying for rent.  It's allocated money from one's employer to the employee to live on.  If your apt. is less than the stipend, then you pocket a few bucks, but that's just your cheating the system.  We (native teachers) are paid to teach English- that's why we get paid.  Housing is provided because we are given money to find housing or are provided a house.

Anyway, hope that helps.

I agree with her! You moved in with her and didn't pay her anything?? That's a weird situation


  • outsider
  • Veteran

    • 225

    • July 03, 2014, 04:19:05 am
    • Bucheon
Re: Rent Question
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2016, 10:31:01 am »
I came upon this issue not long ago.
I moved in with someone last year, and she wanted me to pay rent.
My argument was that she herself doesn't pay rent, so I didn't want to give her money for something she was getting for free.  I gladly paid for more than my share of expenses, but I didn't feel right paying for 'rent'.
She taught public school and had her housing provided.

On the other hand, she argued that she did pay rent, just not directly.  It doesn't come out of her paycheck, but it's unsaid.  For example, if she had chosen the stipend, then it was still money to her to pay for her rent.  So just because her pay stub didn't have rent on it, it didn't mean that she was living there for free.
I don't view an allowance or stipend as one paying for rent.  It's allocated money from one's employer to the employee to live on.  If your apt. is less than the stipend, then you pocket a few bucks, but that's just your cheating the system.  We (native teachers) are paid to teach English- that's why we get paid.  Housing is provided because we are given money to find housing or are provided a house.

Anyway, hope that helps.

How in the world does what you just said make sense?  You'd have to be the most self centered person on the planet to think this way

Housing is part of our compensation package. Take a provided apartment or a higher paycheck (call it a housing stipend or call it a higher salary.  It is just semantics). 

You have to do some real mental gymnastics to convince yourself you are entitled to move in with someone and collect a "housing stipend" of your own and not have to pay her anything because her house is "free anyways".

And before you say it; If you were not collecting a housing stipend of your own because you are unemployed or any other reason it doesnt make you entitled to move in with someone rent free just they happen to be.

Your friend is a saint to even have had a debate with you about this.  Youd be out on your arse so fast your head would spin with most people
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 10:37:10 am by outsider »


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5336

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Rent Question
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2016, 10:33:22 am »
I agree with her! You moved in with her and didn't pay her anything?? That's a weird situation
+1
The housing allowance/ provided housing is a benefit that is a part of our contract in much the same way our wages and bonuses are -- it has a very real monetary value. It is one of the reasons why I chose to come to Korea rather than elsewhere.
Although that allowance is  earmarked towards rent, it is still part of our wages and should be included in our calculations of annual salary.

Of course, there really shouldn't be any sort of issue about this with your flatmate: these kind of things should be discussed at length before you ever move in.  :undecided:


Re: Rent Question
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2016, 10:59:30 am »
I came upon this issue not long ago.
I moved in with someone last year, and she wanted me to pay rent.
My argument was that she herself doesn't pay rent, so I didn't want to give her money for something she was getting for free.  I gladly paid for more than my share of expenses, but I didn't feel right paying for 'rent'.
She taught public school and had her housing provided.

On the other hand, she argued that she did pay rent, just not directly.  It doesn't come out of her paycheck, but it's unsaid.  For example, if she had chosen the stipend, then it was still money to her to pay for her rent.  So just because her pay stub didn't have rent on it, it didn't mean that she was living there for free.
I don't view an allowance or stipend as one paying for rent.  It's allocated money from one's employer to the employee to live on.  If your apt. is less than the stipend, then you pocket a few bucks, but that's just your cheating the system.  We (native teachers) are paid to teach English- that's why we get paid.  Housing is provided because we are given money to find housing or are provided a house.

Anyway, hope that helps.

You didn't "feel right" paying for rent? What if everyone who didn't "feel right" about paying bills just decided not to pay them?


  • jamonamagnet
  • Expert Waygook

    • 610

    • April 01, 2015, 10:09:26 am
    more
Re: Rent Question
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2016, 11:02:27 am »
I came upon this issue not long ago.
I moved in with someone last year, and she wanted me to pay rent.
My argument was that she herself doesn't pay rent, so I didn't want to give her money for something she was getting for free.  I gladly paid for more than my share of expenses, but I didn't feel right paying for 'rent'.
She taught public school and had her housing provided.

On the other hand, she argued that she did pay rent, just not directly.  It doesn't come out of her paycheck, but it's unsaid.  For example, if she had chosen the stipend, then it was still money to her to pay for her rent.  So just because her pay stub didn't have rent on it, it didn't mean that she was living there for free.
I don't view an allowance or stipend as one paying for rent.  It's allocated money from one's employer to the employee to live on.  If your apt. is less than the stipend, then you pocket a few bucks, but that's just your cheating the system.  We (native teachers) are paid to teach English- that's why we get paid.  Housing is provided because we are given money to find housing or are provided a house.

Anyway, hope that helps.

You didn't "feel right" paying for rent? What if everyone who didn't "feel right" about paying bills just decided not to pay them?

Oh.  The message is no longer there.

I wanted to add that having an apartment that costs less than the stipend is not "cheating the system".


  • DaStrongOne
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 106

    • December 01, 2015, 08:59:17 pm
    • Korea
Re: Rent Question
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2016, 11:21:12 am »
I came upon this issue not long ago.
I moved in with someone last year, and she wanted me to pay rent.
My argument was that she herself doesn't pay rent, so I didn't want to give her money for something she was getting for free.  I gladly paid for more than my share of expenses, but I didn't feel right paying for 'rent'.
She taught public school and had her housing provided.

On the other hand, she argued that she did pay rent, just not directly.  It doesn't come out of her paycheck, but it's unsaid.  For example, if she had chosen the stipend, then it was still money to her to pay for her rent.  So just because her pay stub didn't have rent on it, it didn't mean that she was living there for free.
I don't view an allowance or stipend as one paying for rent.  It's allocated money from one's employer to the employee to live on.  If your apt. is less than the stipend, then you pocket a few bucks, but that's just your cheating the system.  We (native teachers) are paid to teach English- that's why we get paid.  Housing is provided because we are given money to find housing or are provided a house.

Anyway, hope that helps.

So you didn't feel right about paying rent for something she gets free? Besides the fact that it's not free and it's apart of benefits, you felt okay with not paying rent for you to stay somewhere free?
ESL in the ROK - 19 games for any lesson - simply enter your data/choose a lesson and play


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1482

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Rent Question
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 12:39:40 pm »
I save more money here without trying than I did trying to save on $45,000 Canadian back home!

No rent, low income taxes, cheap transportation, relatively cheap restaurant fare and low prices on a lot of staples makes for a huge difference.


Re: Rent Question
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 12:56:28 pm »
I save more money here without trying than I did trying to save on $45,000 Canadian back home!

No rent, low income taxes, cheap transportation, relatively cheap restaurant fare and low prices on a lot of staples makes for a huge difference.

I know what you mean when you say "no rent," but we do pay rent. It's just included in our package.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4142

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Rent Question
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2016, 07:34:52 pm »
You really have to look at compensation as a whole.

As I tell my children, "Free" usually means "included".

If I was moving in with somebody who's flat was provided by an employer, I would expect to pay them half the market value for rent.





Re: Rent Question
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2016, 02:12:25 pm »
I save more money here without trying than I did trying to save on $45,000 Canadian back home!

No rent, low income taxes, cheap transportation, relatively cheap restaurant fare and low prices on a lot of staples makes for a huge difference.

I know what you mean when you say "no rent," but we do pay rent. It's just included in our package.


Yes, technically, it is part of our employment package. However, I feel the same as the other guy. In my mind, I pay zero rent. If I were back home, it would cost, at minimum, $600-700 for the place that I have here in Korea. And it would come out of my paycheck and I'd hate it. Here, nothing comes out of it for rent. So, for me, I pay $0 every month.


Re: Rent Question
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2016, 02:33:30 pm »
It never makes financial sense to take the money unless unless you want to live in a dormitory like place.
And yes it isn't free, unless you are a complete idiot, then yeah it's free.